Copy the Photos Library or iPhoto Library file or files to a location other than your hard drive, such as an external drive. Repeat this process whenever you import new photos into Photos or iPhoto, so you always have a current backup of each library. Do not, however, overwrite any existing backup as this would defeat the archival process. Instead, give each backup a unique name. If you've created multiple iPhoto libraries , be sure to back up each iPhoto Library file.
Photos supports multiple libraries.
How to Migrate Pictures from iPhoto or Aperture to Photos for OS X
If you created additional libraries, they need to be backed up, just like the default Photos Library. Additionally, Photos allows you to store images outside of the Photos Library. This is referred to as using reference files. In many cases, reference image files are stored on an external drive, a USB flash drive, or another device.
Use Multiple iPhoto Libraries to Manage Your Photos
Reference files are convenient, but they present a problem when you back up. Since the reference images aren't stored within the Photos Library, they're not backed up when you copy the Photos Library. That means you need to remember where any reference files are located and make sure they're backed up as well.
If you would rather not have to deal with reference image files, you can move them into your Photos Library. After you have all the reference files consolidated to your Photos Library, they are backed up whenever you back up your Photos Library. Another method for backing up your precious photos is to use a third-party backup app that can handle archives. The word archive has different meanings depending on how it is used.
In this case, it specifically refers to the ability to retain files on the destination drive that no longer appear on the source drive. This happens when you back up your Photos or iPhoto Library and then, before the next backup, delete a few images. The next time the backup runs, you want to be confident that the images you deleted from the library aren't also removed from the existing backup.
Several backup apps can handle this scenario, including Carbon Copy Cloner 4. Carbon Copy Cloner has an archive option that protects files and folders that are exclusively located on the backup destination drive. Add the archive feature to the ability to schedule backups, and you have a decent backup system that protects all your image libraries. Share Pin Email. Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About. He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc.
Open the Photos app on your Mac. If you had multiple libraries on your machine, Photos will ask you to select which library you'd like to import.
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Unfortunately, you can't consolidate multiple libraries into a single Photos library — you have to pick which one you want to use. If you need to do this, you can use Aperture first to consolidate libraries, then import that unified library into Photos.
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However, there is no real good way to import an existing Aperture library into Photos aside from a manual migration. If you switched to Lightroom a while ago but now want to make the move to Photos, your best bet is to load your Lightroom folders and files directly into Photos. Just note down where they're stored on your hard drive, and then import away. How to sync your Lightroom exports with Photos on Mac. After you've gotten Photos set up, the next step is to import your images.
Here's what you need to know about bringing your older pictures and libraries to Photos for Mac. Confirm your photos by clicking Import All New Photos in the upper right corner. Source: iMore. In the Finder, you can also simply drag and drop the images you want to import onto the Photos icon; Photos will import them. Bear in mind, though, that Photos' default behavior is not to include original images in imports.
It keeps links to them, so you can use Photos to edit or catalog them but still keep them where they are. This is a double-edged sword: It reduces the size of Photos' library but if your goal is to clean up folders and disks with lots of photos on them, it can get confusing. To put everything actually in your Photos library, make sure to modify Photos' preferences to copy imported files to your Photos library. There's another important reason to do this if you plan to share those imported images on other devices: Only items copied to Photos' library will be uploaded to iCloud Photo Library.
If you're upgrading to Photos for Mac from iPhoto and you've only ever had a single iPhoto library on your Mac, your upgrade path is easy: After you open the app for the first time, Photos will automatically import all your iPhoto images into the app. If you don't need your old iPhoto library, you can toss it in the trash — your images are now safely in Photos and, if you've turned on iCloud Photo Library , in iCloud as well. Photos for Mac is only compatible with one primary library per Mac: This means that you can't combine multiple old iPhoto or Aperture libraries into one master library.
As such, if you have multiple libraries on your machine, Photos will ask you to select which library you'd like to import when you first launch the app. Once you've selected the library you want to use, Photos will prep and import those images. Click on the Library that you want to open in the Choose Library pop-up.
Back Up Your iPhoto Library: The Easy Way
You can still upgrade your other older libraries to separate Photos libraries; you'll just have to individually import each one by option-clicking the Photos icon when starting the app. These other Photos libraries function identically to each other, with one exception: Only one library can be synced with iCloud Photo Library at a time.
Your others will be locally or externally, if you have them on a hard drive siloed from iCloud's sync service. You will still be able to use Photos to choose your Aperture library as demonstrated below, but this may only show the original photos, and not any edits you've made. If you want your existing Aperture library to be your main Photos library, simply select it as part of the initial setup of Photos for Mac. Photos will now launch and will import the Aperture library.
Once it's completed, all your Aperture library photos will be there, and you'll be able to find your stacks, projects, and events in the sidebar on the left. The info pane will present all the data you need, and you can even edit title, description, keyword, faces, and other data right there, right away.
Click on Add a Keyword and enter some words that'll help you find the picture or video later, like "family", "Bob's birthday ", "Apple Watch event" — whatever works for you. Click again on a Keyword to remove it from the currently selected picture or video. Or just type its shortcut again. Enter the terms you want to search for. You can enter multiple terms, e.
How to set up and start using Photos on your Mac | iMore
The Photos app has an AI feature built-in, which scans your photos and places them into categories of its own making. It's somewhat hit and miss I have a ton of pictures of phones, but typing "phone" yields no results , but if you're looking for dog, cat, sunset, or other photos that might fall under a fairly generic category, this type of search can help you out! Click the option you would like to select.
All of the photos and videos related to that keyword will appear. The smart folder system in Photos for Mac is really clever and allows for a lot of options. If you need something more complex than standard search, especially if you think you might run it even semi-frequently, a smart folder might be a good alternative.
October Updated for macOS Catalina. Serenity Caldwell contributed to an earlier version of this guide. What would it be like if a dog manned the International Space Station? Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: hellorousseau.
Skip to main content. Black Friday at Dell: Check out the best deals now! Forums Shop Toggle Search. Getting started How to import images and folders into Photos How to copy imported files to your Photos library How to import your iPhoto Library into Photos for macOS How to import your Aperture library into Photos for Mac How to bring up EXIF, location, and other metadata information in Photos for Mac How to add a title, description, and keywords to a picture or video in Photos for Mac How to manage keywords with Photos for Mac How to search for your pictures and videos in Photos for Mac How to search for a specific category in the Photos app How to use smart albums as "advanced search" in Photos for Mac Getting started with Photos on the Mac.
The introduction will show you how you can organize and categorize your photos. Should you use iCloud Photo Library? If you're brand new to managing photos on your Mac Do you have folders of unorganized images glaring at you from your desktop?
Once you're finished the tour, you can go ahead and either And just like that, you're good to start uploading photos! If you're upgrading from iPhoto or Aperture. A note for Lightroom users looking to switch If you switched to Lightroom a while ago but now want to make the move to Photos, your best bet is to load your Lightroom folders and files directly into Photos. How to sync your Lightroom exports with Photos on Mac How to import images and folders into Photos After you've gotten Photos set up, the next step is to import your images. Open Photos from your Dock or Applications folder.
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